Sir — I would like to narrate the story of a plot of land we own in a village near Cuttack. The farmers grow rice and take half of the produce in exchange of their labour. We are eleven brothers and sisters, and the number of claimants for the land has risen to 30. Shareholders of the plot are spread all over the world. In case a highway were to come up, would the government approach each share-holder? The farmers would invariably object to the plan. The government should formulate a rational law that will empower it to take over land for developmental projects.
Benu Kumar Bose, Calcutta
Sir — Of the two legends in contemporary cricket, Ricky Ponting has announced his retirement (“I’m glad to finish this way & on my terms”, Nov 30). Ponting’s repeated failures against South Africa must have forced him to take the decision even before the Australian selectors tapped him on the shoulder. Australian cricketers, especially the skipper, Michael Clarke, will certainly miss him. A legend on the field, Ponting was also immensely valued for his inputs while devising the team’s strategies.
Another legend, our very own Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, is facing a similar situation. Except for his knock in Calcutta against England, he has failed to post a decent score, of late. His change in stance in the second Test showed that he is working hard to get back to form. But his reflexes are not sharp enough, and this is evident from the nature of his dismissals. Four among India’s ‘Fab Five’ — Anil Kumble, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman — have retired. Admittedly, this does not mean that Tendulkar should hang up his boots. A number of experts have opined that the decision should be left to Tendulkar alone. Cricket is Tendulkar’s only passion and he has served Indian cricket for over two decades. Hence the decision to quit must be very difficult for him. Stalwarts like Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev have suggested that the selectors should talk to Tendulkar. Perhaps more failures will prompt him to announce his retirement after the series against England. Whatever may be the case, Tendulkar should be given the time and the emotional space that are necessary to take a call on his future.
Ranesh Chandra Dey,
Sir — Ricky Ponting was truly a great batsman. He stood out for the way in which he played his cricket — he played hard and was uncompromising. In his heyday, he had a running battle with India’s Sachin Tendulkar to become the highest run-scorer as well as to win the crown of the batsman with the highest number of centuries in the game. For a while, it looked as if Ponting would leave Tendulkar behind. But then the Australian batsman fell behind when he lost form.
But there can be no denying the fact that Ponting is the greatest Australian batsman after the peerless Don Bradman. He belonged to the golden generation of Australian cricket. The era that he played in featured other immensely talented players like Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer and Brett Lee.
Apart from being a brilliant batsman, Ponting was also an able leader of men. Under his captaincy, Australia won the cricket World Cup on two consecutive occasions.
His retirement leaves a big void in international cricket. Hopefully, the other great batsman, Tendulkar, will emulate Ponting by the time the series with England is over.